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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 6
Issue 10

Size Does Matter

"Worry about being better; bigger will take care of itself."
Gary Comer, Founder, Lands' End

People start their own business for many reasons. Some people form or purchase a business because they want to be their own boss. Others have a specific passion or skill that draws them into entrepreneurship. Then there are those that want a lifestyle business; one that allows more free time with family or for other interests. Still others want to create a larger company with many employees and perhaps become a leader in their industry. What do you want? Often business owners don't really know what they want. They don't prepare for the future. Sometimes circumstances put them in a situation that may or may not fit their personal needs and desires. But, you can be in control of your destiny. Take some time to really THINK about what you want your business to become. Make it an intentional decision and base the company's vision on it.

Recently, I had a discussion with three separate insurance agency owners. One developed his business so that it would accommodate the addition of his son and daughter to work in the agency. The second agency owner grew his business large enough so that he could no longer do the selling. He created and grew into a new role as Manager of the business and its employees. The third is an independent agent who just wanted to continue selling insurance. He is doing what he loves and doesn't want any added complications. All three had the same opportunities to expand their business but each chose a different path. They are all happy with how their business fits their personal and financial goals.

Do you want to keep your business small?

  • Optimize your business. Streamline your company and become less wasteful. Create a business you are proud of and enjoy coming into work every day.
  • Improve your service. If your business is a manageable size, your goal should be for customers to have a wonderful experience doing business with you.
  • Increase your profit. What can you do to make your business so effective that your profit increases? Remaining small does not limit the level of its profitability.

Do you want to grow your business substantially?

  • Adjust your role. The first challenge is to change and grow your position. That doesn't mean adding more responsibilities to what you always have done. It is becoming the visionary and strategist, then leading, mentoring and delegating.
  • Formalize. As your business expands, make sure you have formalized the processes, procedures and systems. It will allow you to operate consistently throughout your company and ensure that the business is sustainable.
  • Manage growth. Growth should be measured rather happen too fast. Make sure you have the infrastructure you need to support the growth. Don't be shortsighted by just focusing on revenue; your goal is profit and business value.


To expand or not to expand… that is the question. The book Small Giants by Bo Burlingham is a great resource to help you think through your choices. Whatever growth strategy you select, make your business the best it can be. Remember size does matter to you.

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